Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shrinky Dinks for Grown Ups

Shrinky Dink MobileI know everyone remembers Shrinky Dinks--the 70s wouldn't have been the same without these funky little plastics--and I saw this post at Curbly about an easy way to make your own without any fancy kits.

It's no big secret, I'm sure many of you have done this too, but it inspired me to try a new project to use this retro craft in a new, chic way: Shrinky Dink mobiles.

Save the number six plastic containers you get when you buy salad at the grocery store salad bar or a container of bakery goods (it should have the triangular recycled mark stamped on it in a corner with a little number six in the middle). Cut out the smooth middle square of plastic, make sure it's clean and smudge-free, then draw your design in the thinnest permanent marker.

Cut it out, punch a small hole in it, and briefly bake at 350 degrees, marked side up, on a sheet of aluminum foil or in an aluminum pie plate until it's finished shrinking. When you take it out you may need to quickly and gently press it flat if it's still slightly curled--larger designs tend to be more wavy.

So far no big revelations, right? Well the kids brought out their Star Wars, Spiderman and Disney princess books and traced pictures from them to make mobiles for their rooms. A little craft wire and nylon thread and they had some fun room decorations.

Shrinky Dink MobilesBut for my mobile I wanted something a little more grown up (Ariel's just not my thing, sad to say) so I pulled out a book on Renaissance clothing and drew eight groups of men and women in costume.

They turned out beautifully--see for yourself. Very classy I thought. It would also be pretty with simple drawings of seashells, wild flowers or maybe even something way out there like your initial in various large, 100-point fonts. You know, an M in Times Roman, Arial, Courier, etc.? That would look terrific in a home office.

There's nothing like recycling something into artsy chic. Here are some other links for artsy Shrinky Dinks:

* Shrinky Dinks napkin rings from Dillon Designs
* Shrinky Dinks wine glass charms from Ljc's Projects
* Shrinky Dinks Christmas ornaments from A Daily Dose of Mischief
* Shrinky Dinks thank you card from GreenerMe Casuals
* Shrinky Dinks photo bracelet

And the mobile? Well I threw it in my Etsy shop if you've got a hankering for one of your own.

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Congratulations to Steve for winning this week's giveaway and the Evenflo Triumph Car Seat--and thank you all for visiting and entering, I wish I had hundreds of car seats to give out, you're wonderful!

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Also, you might be particularly interested in my Site of the Week listed on my sidebar, The Savvy Source. You can take a free quiz about your child's development then based on your answers they'll recommend activities and toys that meet your child's individual needs. Not a bad idea I'd say--now why didn't I think of that?

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31 comments:

Maddy said...

Well the chemistry leaves me cold.

Microwaved to what temperature?

Saves scraping off the accident from the oven!

Cheers

Kelli said...

I did loads of Shrinky Dinks as a kid. This may be fun!

chelle said...

I have been saving my #6 plastic for a while now :)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

That's great! I was a Shrinky Dink nut as a kid...I need to try the 'adult' version :)

Chris said...

Cool!

Valerie said...

That is really neat!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

That is too awesome!

Steph

Sonja said...

Genius. Pure Genius.

I love the initials idea. And your dancers are fabulous.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

MMMMMMMMMMMAN - I really wanted to win that carseat!

You're going to laugh, but while I was at the beach with my family, we accidentally discovered the Shrinky Dink thing. In the melee around getting dinner ready for 12 hungry, rowdy people, one of us women accidentally left the lid to one of those salad containers on top of the Grandmama FriedOkra's Hamburger Casserole, which was covered in foil, when she put it into the oven.

We took out the casserole and put it on the table and one of the kids found the little square of plastic, held it up and wondered aloud what it was. We were completely stumped until we went to put the salad away and found the lid missing. We put two and two together and the first thing I said was, OH COOL! HOMEMADE SHRINKY DINKS!!

And bam - now this post. Too funny. I bet someone discovered this idea in a similar accidental experiment.

Summer said...

That's pretty cool! I've never heard of doing that before.

Jen said...

What a cool project! Thanks.

Lei said...

What a cool idea!

Jolene said...

I love this post! I am going to make some embellishments for cards and scrap book pages - I have so many ideas flowing right now! Thanks!

Cecily R said...

I am so in love with this idea! Shrinky Dinks bring back so many warm fuzzy memories!!!

Amy said...

What a great idea! My kids would love this!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

FINALLY a shrinky dink tutorial that was simple yet detailed enough for me to understand =) Thanks.

The mobil is lovely!

jubilee said...

Gonna have to try the photo bracelet. Now I can recycle the #6 plastics on my own. We only have facilities for #1 and #2 plastic. I always feel a little sorry to throw out the rest (Going green was supposed to make me less guilt-ridden). Ah, well.

Heffalump said...

I found a 100 pack of the large #6 containters at my local cash and carry aka United Grocers for less than $20.00.
That is 200 large shrinky dinks if you use the top and the bottom. I thought that was a pretty good deal compared to how much it costs to get the actual shrinky dink sheets.

Heffalump said...

I was looking at those napkin rings, and they are actually rings for your finger rather than napkin rings. I bet napkin rings could easily be done with a larger sheet though.

Jenna Consolo said...

This is a great idea with loads of possibilities! I can't wait to try it with my kids. Loved your Renaissance folk!

cheeky said...

I found (via another blog) some "shrinky dink" sheets you could transfer any images onto and print from your printer, and then bake. They were a little pricey but I've beenw anting to use them.
I love the idea. Not sure what the plastic equivalent is here in Australia. I will have to figure that one out. Packaging is so different here and less. It's minimal so I'm going to have to be on the lookout. Great idea and thanks for sharing.

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

Those are super cute. you always have good ideas

marcia said...

How fun!!! did you come up w/ it? Thanks for your encouraging post I am still plugging away but have had more sweet phone calls and comments than any one person deserves so I am getting there thanks again.

Cocoa said...

I haven;t ever done Shrinky Dinks with my kids because I couldn't get the plastic. Well now I know! Only I never buy salads or things from the deli. Might have to think about begging some off of friends or something.

Mommy Doodles said...

oh, i want some shrinky dinks! my son would love shrinky dinks... i have to search around to find some kid ones... this is a great topic for a Throwback Thursday on my blog!

Thanks for sharing, (from because mom said so) I will be back!
Melanie

Tabitha said...

I love the idea of making a mobile with different fonts of your initials. I think I will have to do this for my computer area.

Michelle A. said...

So funny, I feel like the mad scientist as I've been up late in my kitchen trying to find something crafty to make out shrinky dinks. I'm so lame at making them though, I've almost given up on this very easy craft! Looks like you had fuN!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Oh neat! I remember doing shrinky dinks as a kid - my kids would totally love doing them now. I'll have to try this - thanks for sharing it!

MommyTime said...

This is gorgeous. So much classier shrinky dinks that you're doing yourself a disservice to lump them together. Though I get why you did :) ... anyway, now I have another fun project to add to my growing list. Thanks!

Childlife said...

What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing this, Michelle!

San Francisco said...

A fun gift is to make a "clothesline" and attach fun shrinky clothing items to it -that the person would wear if they were tiny! Make as necklace, ornament, etc. Great gift for kids, drag queens, grandpa.....